Building Dreams: FFTP Donors Reach Halfway Mark in Campaign to Help School in Haiti
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 10, 2022) Students and teachers at École Presbytérale Jean Paul II in Kenscoff, Haiti, are closer to realizing the dream of working in a safe, comfortable environment, thanks to Food For The Poor donors who have generously supported the charity’s Building Dreams fundraising campaign.
Under the leadership of Fr. Medard Laz, retired pastor of Holy Family Parish in Inverness, Ill., FFTP launched its annual Building Dreams campaign on Sept. 8. The campaign, which has raised slightly more than half of the $114,908 needed to repair and expand the school, will continue through the end of the year.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has generously opened their hearts to the students and teachers at École Presbytérale Jean Paul II,” Fr. Laz said. “Our campaign is going well, and given that the holiday season is upon us, I have faith that more people will be moved to support our campaign to help these deserving students and teachers.”
With a population of 20,000, Kenscoff is located about 6 miles southeast of Port-au-Prince. Ninety-five percent of the working residents in Kenscoff earn less than $1 per day, primarily working on farms, driving motorcycle taxis and doing masonry work.
Most eat only one meal a day and, with little access to water, they either collect water from a reservoir or walk about an hour to a water source. Their lives are further complicated by the ongoing political turmoil, gang violence and other problems plaguing the country.
One of three schools in Kenscoff, École Presbytérale Jean Paul II currently serves 1,500 students. Its needs are overwhelming.
Students squeeze into overcrowded classrooms in unsafe buildings made of metal sheets, concrete blocks and wood. Staff and students do not have access to proper hygiene stations, and all are forced to use the same installation. There’s no water for students and teachers to wash their hands, which puts them at risk of spreading infectious diseases.
FFTP is partnering with St. Nicholas Parish and FFTP-Haiti to provide a safe and enriching learning environment. Plans call for a sanitation block for students and a 6,500-gallon cistern with gutters, a handwashing station, a three-classroom block and a computer lab. The funds also will cover the cost of clearing debris, installing retaining walls and other improvements.
For the past 17 years, Fr. Laz, who is founding pastor of Holy Family Parish, has helped to fund numerous projects in Haiti through FFTP. Although past fundraisers took place in person in suburban Chicago, the charity switched to holding a virtual event in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fr. Laz is a dedicated Food For The Poor ambassador who puts his heart into every campaign – fulfilling dreams for people who simply want a better way of life for themselves and for their family,” said Ed Raine, FFTP President/CEO. “We are inspired by his faithfulness and thankful to all the people who are giving so generously to support this campaign, especially during this time of desperate need in Haiti.”
To learn more about the Building Dreams fundraising campaign and make a donation in support of École Presbytérale Jean Paul II, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/buildingdreams.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.